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What is the cause of this? No, no; the simple answer to that is the answer we gave to the other inquiry; the heart is not right; for if the heart were pure the life would be pure too. The unclean stream betrays the fountain. Our heart is defiled by sin and hence a taint of sinfulness cleaves unfortunately to everything we take in hand; and although from the force of habit this may be imperceptible to us, it does not escape the eye of the omniscient, holy, and righteous God.

Are they not all to be traced to the corruption of our hearts? When the hands of a clock move in an irregular manner, and when the bell strikes the wrong hour, be assured there is something wrong within. O how needful that the main-spring of our motives be in proper order and the wheels in a right condition.

Christian keep thy heart pure. Do you remember the remedy which Moses prescribed? It is the remedy which we prescribe to you this morning. He took a certain tree and he cast it into the waters, and they became sweet and clear. There is a certain tree, you know its name, that tree on which the Saviour hung, the cross. Take that tree, put it into your heart, and though it were even more impure than it is, that sweet cross, applied by the Holy Spirit, would soon transform it into its own nature and make it pure.

Christ Jesus in the heart is the sweet purification. He is made unto us sanctification. Elijah cast salt into the waters; but we must cast the blood of Jesus there. Once let us know and love Jesus, once let his cross become the object of our adoration and the theme of our delight, the heart will beam its cleansing, and the life will become pure also.

Christian man! In the third place there is one thing to which our water companies need never pay much attention; that is to say, if their water be pure and the reservoir be full, they need not care to keep it peaceable and quiet, for let it be stirred to a storm, we should receive our water in the same condition as usual. It is not so however, with the heart.

Unless the heart be kept peaceable, the life will not be happy. If calm doth not reign over that inner lake within the soul which feeds the rivers of our life, the rivers themselves will always be in storm. Our outward acts will always tell that they were born in tempests by rolling in tempests themselves.

Let us just understand this first, with regard to ourselves. We all desire to lead a joyous life; the bright eye and the elastic foot are things which we each of us desire; to carry about a contented mind is that to which most men are continually aspiring. Let us all remember that the only way to keep our life peaceful and happy is to keep the heart at rest; for come poverty, come wealth, come honor, come shame, come plenty, or come scarcity, if the heart be quiet there will be happiness anywhere. But whatever the sunshine and the brightness, if the heart be troubled the whole life must be troubled too.

There is a sweet story told in one of the German martyrologies well worth both my telling and your remembering. A holy martyr who had been kept for a long time in prison, and had there exhibited to the wonderment of all who saw him, the strongest constancy and patience, was at last, upon the day of execution, brought out and tied to the stake preparatory to the lighting of the fire.

While in this position he craved permission to speak once more to the Judge, who according to the Swiss custom was required to be also present at the execution. After repeatedly refusing, the judge at last came forward when the peasant addressed him thus: You have this day condemned me to death. Now then sir, he proceeded to say, I have but one last request to make, which is that you will approach and place your hand first upon my breast and then upon your own, and afterwards frankly and truthfully declare before this assembled multitude which of the two, mine or yours, is beating most violently with fear and anxiety.

For my part I quit the world with alacrity and joy, to go and be with Christ in whom I have always believed; what your feelings are at this moment is best known to yourself. The judge could make no answer, and commanded them instantly to light the pile. It was evident however from his looks that he was more afraid than the martyr.

Now, keep your heart right.

Do not let it smite you. It is a blow that can be felt; it is iron that enters into the soul. Keep your heart in good temper.

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Do not let that get fighting with you. Seek that the peace of God which passeth all understanding may keep your heart and mind through Christ Jesus. Keep the heart peaceable and your life will be happy. Remember in the second place that it is just the same with regard to other men. I should hope we all wish to lead quiet lives, and as much as lieth in us to live peaceably with all men.

I do not know whether that is true of all of us, but it is of some. You can not sit with them in a room but they introduce a topic upon which you are quite certain to disagree with them. You could not walk with them half a mile along the public streets but they would be sure to make an observation against every body and every thing they saw.

They say of another man that they do not think he attends to visiting his people; of another, that he visits so much that he never prepares for the pulpit. No one can be right for them. Why is this? Whence arises this continual snarling? The heart must again supply the answer, they are morose and sullen in the inward parts, and hence their speech betrayeth them.

2 Timothy Devotionals | Precept Austin

Keep thine heart peaceable that thy life may be so; for out of the heart are the issues of life. How is this to be done? We reply again, we must ask the Holy Spirit to pacify the heart. No strength but Omnipotence can still the tempest of human nature. Cry out mightily unto him. He still sleeps in the vessel with his church.

A Spiritual Attack on Your Heart - Devotional by Tony Evans

Ask him to awake lest your piety should perish in the waters of contention. But they must all eventually have been be so infilled with the Holy Spirit they trusted the Lord to lead them to wherever He wanted them. And also to speak to whoever he wanted them to. And He spoke through them.

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Christian tradition has it that, with the possible exception of John, all suffered and died cruel deaths for their conviction to this great commission. When the Lord called the first four of his disciples to follow him, they dropped their fishing nets and did just that. No questions asked. But they became the early church leaders over time.

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In a way, they learned on the job. More so after Jesus died and reappeared to them and then left them to do what He had tasked them to do. Can we be like these early disciples and the many church helpers, teachers, workers, clergy and missionaries who came after them, right up till today? For when I am weak, then I am strong. Is it possible for me to simply trust the Lord to lead me to where He wants me?

Do I really want to do what He wants me to do? Will you be prepared to pray to the Lord for His guidance in this and to really listen to him? A Prayer Dear Lord. Thank You for the life that You have given me.

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